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Old July 18, 2000, 06:28 PM   #1
Andrew Bornman
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I bought a Taurus mod 66 with a 4 inch barrel. I would like to hear your load reccomendations and what you consider the ETHICAL maximum range of the .357 to be.

What about using cast bullets on deer?
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Old July 19, 2000, 01:44 AM   #2
Robert the41MagFan
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Three fifty-seven Magnum is a broad sided, no more than fifty yards deer caliber. And shot placement is going to be extremely critical (Not going to get into ethics). Under those conditions, almost any combination of bullet and powders will work. Consider using hard cast lead bullets instead of jacketed hollow points. For some reason the JHP's fail to expand all the time from a handgun. Since you do not have the barrel length to drive high velocities, go with a heavy bullet. At least 180 grains. There are many companies making 180 to 220 grain hard cast bullets for the 357 Magnum. Again, most anything will work. Accuracy is going to be the key element here. Go with the combination that will be the most accurate in your gun.

Robert




[This message has been edited by Robert the41MagFan (edited July 19, 2000).]
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Old July 19, 2000, 09:43 AM   #3
Cougar
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Andy,

The .357 is marginal for quick, humane kills on deer. Ohio laws state the .357 as minimum handgun caliber, and ALL ohio handgun hunting MUST be done with at least a 6" barrel.

Due to the latest changes in Ohio hunting regulations, we now can use any straight-walled revolver cartridge, .357 is minimum. so you can use .357 Mag, .41 Mag, .44Mag, .454 Casull, and .45 Colt. I believe the Linebaugh series are permitted also. No bottlenecked cartridges are allowed, or are single shot handguns such as T/Cs.

50 Yards is about as far as you can expect a .357 to be effective, maybe 75 yds for the others, and that is only if you're scoped. Hunting with a revolver is pretty much like using black powder or slug guns. The maximum effective ranges tend to be about the same. Yes, you can try to take a longer shot, but why would you? Can you put a bullet into a 6" circle every time, under hunting conditions, from that distance? To quote 'Dirty Harry', a man's got to know his limitations.

Loads? I use a high quality, very hard 158gr LSWC or a LBT design driven to about 1550fps in my 8" Dan Wesson. I use either H110 or Alliant 2400. I will not disclose charge weights, but they are listed right at or near maximum. Dan Wessons can take it, your Taurus 66 might not since it is basically a K-frame S&W.
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Old July 20, 2000, 01:41 PM   #4
Robert the41MagFan
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To quote Cougar, "Can you put a bullet into a 6" circle every time, under hunting conditions, from that distance? To quote 'Dirty Harry', a man's got to know his limitations". A 357 Magnum is marginal at best and will even be bold enough to say that hunting deer with this caliber is for the seasoned hunter only. The shots need to be perfect and surgical. If you can't hit a four (4) inch circle, consistently at a particular range, then the 357 Magnum will not work for you. If you cannot go through the vital and break a leg, the deer will run. And most of the time, far. Tracking skill will also be a must.

Robert
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Old July 21, 2000, 06:47 PM   #5
Bogie
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I've been considering whipping up some .357 loads for deer hunting...

I'm more or less considering a Hornady 180 grain XTP, over a max load of W296 and a WSPM primer, in a Winchester case.

Of course, the RIFLE this would be fired in is a 16" Winchester lever action, and has been proven to group in 6" at 100 yards with iron sights and my eyes. I figure that the velocity gain from the non-ported barrel will help some...

I wouldn't use a .357 in a handgun on deer.

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Old July 21, 2000, 09:45 PM   #6
Robert the41MagFan
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Bogie,

I did it with my 627PC. Used 158 grain XTP's with just over 14 1/2 grains of 2400. Fourteen point eight grains, I think was the exact load, but definitely under maximum. The bullet did not expand and if I would have had to track this bad boy, would have lost him. No entrance hole or exit wound. The compound fracture of the leg was the only visible damage. There was almost no external bleeding. At least not enough to track.

Admit that what I was trying to do is push the envelope, "What is a minimum load?". In answering that question, would have to say that a solid defensive load will kill deer, even huge ones. The key deal, again, is going to be shot placement. And lots of patience to get that right shot. Took me two days to get this one deer to go broadside, inside 50 yards.

A 357 Magnum is a true test of hunting skill, shooting prowess and what type of a man you really are. It is really tough to look at a 250 pound animal for hours just outside your shooting perimeter and say no go. Watch him walk away and see your days hunting aspirations go up in smoke.


Robert

[This message has been edited by Robert the41MagFan (edited July 21, 2000).]
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Old July 22, 2000, 09:41 AM   #7
Cougar
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Robert,

I'm with you 110% in that handgun hunting, especially with a .357, is a true test of your hunting and stalking skills. It does take quite a degree of discipline to not take a shot beyond your effective range.

That reminds me of a story...
Once I was at an indoor range after working up some of my hunting loads in my Dan Wesson 8" .357. A couple of stalls over was a guy and his girlfriend, him trying to teach her how to shoot--with a .44 Mag and full Magnum loads! I was shooting at 25 yards (the max for this range) and was shooting 1 to 1-1/2 inch groups. Dude and dudette could barely keep on the paper at 10 yards with that .44.

I'm reeling in one of my targets and they notice the ragged one big hole and dude comes over to see what I'm doing right and them doing wrong. Get this--it is his first gun. He wanted 'the biggest' (must be to counteract his lacking in other areas ). Typical macho bullshirt. The real kicker is that he was going to go handgun hunting with his buddies the next week. I said something about his skill level not being adequate for the task and he said 'With a .44, you don't need to be that accurate. One hit and the sucker's goin' down!' My BS detectors were getting extremely overloaded by this point so I quietly picked up my stuff and walked away.


Bogie and Robert,

The XTP is too 'pointy' and I really don't think it would do all that well after cutting through hair and all, as evidenced by your typical results with a JHP. That's why I stick to something with a wide flat nose. If I could find a WFN with a half jacket, I think that would be the ideal hunting bullet. Then the lead could be softer and might mushroom a little better.

I might start working up some loads with 180 grain bullets this year. I was going for shock effect with the 158s, but 170-180s might be a better choice. My 158s have a good reputation though-- three shots, three deer.

Your reults may vary...


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Remember, just because you are not paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you!
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Old July 24, 2000, 11:24 AM   #8
Bogie
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Well, the reason I'm thinking of the .357 for deer is basically because it's the most compact rifle I own, and I'll likely be taking a shot inside 25 yards (a friend's bow stand is right next to what seems to be a major deer highway)... My 2nd choice rifle would be a Maadi AK variant (with 5-shot mag). Third would likely be a 22" Savage 110 in .243, but it's really too big to swing comfortably, and I don't have iron sights on it.

Personally, I'd like to set up where I've got 300-500 yards visibility, and I could just hunker down behind the .308 and wait for the ideal candidate for a 165 grain ballistic tip, but hey...

I have also been considering having the chamber reamed out to .357 Max...

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Old July 24, 2000, 04:06 PM   #9
WESHOOT2
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Work with the R-P 180g SJHP over H110 or W296. Use Mag primers and new cases.

This bullet is excellent, and if launch velocity exceeds 1200fps terminal ballistics at extended distances are good (see Speer's 'distance tables' and consider sectional density...).

Get 4" at 100 yards from my 7.5" Redhawk, launch speed 1226fps (same load averages 1160fps from two 4" GP100's).

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Old July 24, 2000, 09:50 PM   #10
Clark
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Have you been using H110, 296, or LIL'GUN poweders?

Max load with them in a heavy bullet and you should be deadly.
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